This month’s What We’re Reading guest author is the lovely Tricia Meyer from Helping Moms Connect. She’s a dedicated mother who blogs about everything from contests and discounts to helpful hints and news for other moms. We love her writing because she’s so genuine — she speaks from her heart and tells stories about her life and family that every lady can relate to in some way. Take a look at the thoughtful advice she gives in her recent post on how Mean Girls Become Mean Women.

Her successful blog is one of many that she owns (Chatty Women and Hunger Games Fan are a few others), and we’re so thankful to steal her away from her busy schedule to give us the lowdown on one of the most popular and controversial books out there right now: 50 Shades of Grey by EL James.

Thank you so much for the review, Tricia!

Tricia from Helping Moms Connect

Book review on 50 Shades

If you haven’t yet heard of 50 Shades of Grey, you might be living in a hole! From the Florida library book banning (which was just lifted) to the humorous “readings” by Ellen DeGeneres and Gilbert Gottfried, everyone is talking about this book. What separates 50 Shades of Grey from all of the other fiction and romance books out there? I’ve got a few ideas.

50 Shades vs. Twilight: 50 Shades of Grey initially started as a work of fan fiction based on Twilight. Although it has nothing to do with vampires, readers of both books can spot many of the similarities. Because of that, “mature” Twilight fans are finding 50 Shades to be a nice reminder of their time reading Twilight, but with the more intimate scenes they were hoping to find between Bella and Edward (or maybe Bella and Jacob).

Different from Erotica: You don’t tend to get too far into an actual erotica book before the author starts into the hard core intimate scenes. It can be really uncomfortable for women who are not usually interested in those kinds of books. The scenes don’t ring true to us because we want the build up of romance with it. In 50 Shades, you see the character development first and you start wishing that Ana and Christian will get together. By the time that they do, there has been enough hinting and teasing that reading these scenes is fun.

A Unique Romance: Most women do love romance, but we get tired of the same old romance novels with predictable plots. We want something just edging slightly on the fringe of our comfort zone, but not too far past it. 50 Shades delivers on that with the BDSM. We still hope for the happily ever after with 50 Shades — we’re just not certain exactly what that will look like.

Something to Talk About: More than anything else, 50 Shades has people talking. When people start talking about a book, more people want to read it. Whether you loved it or hated it, you can still talk to your girlfriends about the scenes and share more than you usually would about your own intimate life. The trilogy has started conversations, and those conversations flow a little more freely when you have the book to use as reference and example.

50 Shades of Grey is definitely not a great work of fiction that people will be praising critically for years to come. But does a book have to be in order to give the reader something new and interesting to think about?